Friday, August 17, 2012

{Friendship Friday} is kindness a non-negotiable for friendship?


When I posted about the random acts of kindness, I had a friend email me to tell me what she did (5 things, by the way - yay!).

The reason she emailed and didn't post on her blog is because she said her friends read her blog and she felt funny in case it was seen as bragging, because isn't this what friends do for one another?

I said, "no! not always. I know of lots of people who are not kind to their friends."

I think that some people are naturally kind and thoughtful, and others have to make more effort but do it anyway. And others just don't bother.

She also mentioned that I'm intentional about the acts of kindness so why do I call them random?

Isnt' that a great question?

I said I like to be intentional (that's like planning to do x per month) but then the randomness happens because I just listen and keep aware in case I'm able to do something nice.
But... back to the topic.

A lot of friends are not kind to one another. Because one of my areas of interest is friendship, my ears zero in on these topics around the office... :) (in fact, I told them the other day, "I really need to start a blog because you guys are RIPE with blog fodder")

I hear about friends taking advantage of one another, putting guilt trips on one another, not even caring about their friends - frankly, it's shocking to me.

While I am not 100% hard and cold, I do think friendship needs to be reciprocal in some way. Especially in the area of kindness.

One of my main goals as a parent is to raise kids who are kind to others. I think I'm succeeding with the one and the other will need more work :)

And of course, kindness can take many forms.

Kindness is not about gifts although it can be; it's about being there for someone, showing compassion and empathy and being thoughtful, picking up the phone now and again, sending a kind email/ text to say you're thinking of that person, etc.

I had supper with a 3 am friend a few weeks ago and she confessed that she's bad at communicating with her friends. I said, "what?!" and she gave me some examples like she doesn't check in regularly with everyone and I said, "honestly, C, I've never ever felt neglected by you."

It's true - I think it's because when you need her, she is THERE, fully present and ready to help very practically. And she does check in randomly to see how I'm doing.

It was strange to me to see how she perceives herself (she was measuring herself against another of her friends) when I experience her so differently.

I guess it won't surprise you to find that for me, kindness is a non-negotiable for friendship.

Life is too short to put up with unkindness from people and fortunately, I don't think I've ever had to with my friends.

I do try and be kind so I think I attract kind people to me too.

But what about you?

Is kindness a non-negotiable for your friendship?
How do you prefer people to show kindness to you?


  1. I can't imagine being unkind to my friends. That's just wrong in so many ways. I like to think of myself as someone who was brought us by my mother as a kind person.

  2. Oh it is non - negotionable. I mean really, if your friends are not kind to you you really need no enemies. TO me it is the very basic in friendship. And thank you for your friendship and kindness

  3. I know this about myself...doing things for other people really makes me happy. And, I try to be the kind of friend that I'd like to have myself. Of course I very often fall short of that goal, but that's at least my aim.

    For me, I love when people show me they really know me. It might be remembering my birthday, or that I don't like whipped cream on my ice cream...or sending me a note to say, "I heard XYZ song and it made me think of you." Along those same lines, some of my very favorite presents ever have been teeny-tiny (like a Post-it Note dispenser!)...given by someone who really knows what I would like.

    I'm going to reference your "positive intent" that you spoke of a week or so ago, though. On being "unkind" -- or at least not overtly kind -- sometimes...I don't think it's intentional. Sure, it can still really hurt, but I'm going to try to think of that phrase more often. (Thanks to you!)

  4. I guess you can't call people who are unkind to you friends...maybe acquaintances would be a better way to describe them. I have found that although I will go out of my way to "be there" for my friends they aren't usually there for me. Unfortunately that lead to me building a wall of protection around myself, because frankly, it hurts. I can really count the people I can count on in time of need on my one hand...and that is sad. I am at a point that I allow people "close to" me only when I trust them completely...and trust takes time.

    By the way...I never thanked you for the awesome washi tape you sent me. I was in a bit of a downward spiral at the time and only when I started organising my scrap studio did I find it and I felt awful that I never thanked you.


  5. I would think kindness and friendship are synonymous!!! If someone is not kind to me I'm not sure they qualify to be in the friend category. I agree with Lynette on this one!

    If I know I can count on someone that makes me happy. I'm quite easy to please and sometimes just having someone to "whine" to is more than enough for me. I only hope my friends would consider me a kind and thoughtful person :)


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